What qualifications do you need to work in Luxembourg?
The Grand-Duchy is still an attractive place for medium and high-skilled workers from all over the world. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Statec), employment rose 3.9% between the second quarters 2017 and 2018. During the same timeframe, the number of EU and non-EU nationals living and working in the country increased respectively by 2.7% and 10%. But before you take the decision to work in Luxembourg, how to be sure that your diplomas and qualifications obtained abroad will be recognised? Higher education diplomas obtained abroad are formally recognised either through recording in the register of certificates of academic education, or through official approval in order to be admitted to supplementary courses in Luxembourg law and to gain access to certain legal professions.
Registration is required to carry an academic title and attests the duration of your studies and the value of your diploma(s). Associate degrees (brevet d’enseignement supérieur, diploma van gegradueerde, graad van gegradueerde, getuigschrift associate degree), Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctor’s degrees (diplomas awarded following the defence of a thesis) obtained in Belgium or in the Netherlands and awarded for higher education courses recognised in Belgium or in the Netherlands are automatically registered in Luxembourg without any prior formality. Diplomas that are not recognised by the State authorities where they were issued may not be recorded in the register of certificate.
Application form is available online with eTracking in English, French and German and must be sent, with your documents drafted in one of the 3 official languages of the country (French, Luxembourgish or German) or translated into one of these languages and certified by a sworn translator, to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche). A proof of the payment of the fee to cover the processing costs (€ 75) is also required. And if you are not a national from the member States of the European Union, of the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation, you must add a copy of your residence permit in Luxembourg.
Gaining access to specific professions
Your diplomas, certificates and/or professional qualifications earned abroad need to be recognised as equivalent if you want to access specific professions such as liberal professions, commercial and craft activities, healthcare and socio-educational professions (graduate educator, carer). Application form for recognition of equivalence is available online (only in French) and must be sent, with your documents and the proof of payment of the fee (€ 75), to the Department for the Recognition of Diplomas (Service de la reconnaissance des diplômes). For commercial, liberal and craft professions, you can obtain the recognition for your higher education (academic) diploma acquired abroad by following the same procedures as mentioned above: registration or official approval for certain legal professions.
If you have obtained your professional qualifications outside of the European Union, you must be able to prove a formal qualification issued by a non-EU country and which is officially recognised by another EU member State and a professional experience of 3 years in that member State.
Requesting an accreditation of prior and experiential learning
Your knowledge and skills acquired during your professional career or through training courses, during internships, in your leisure time or when carrying out voluntary work may be officially recognised by means of the accreditation of prior and experiential learning (validation des acquis de l’expérience – VAE). The VAE enables you to obtain certificates or diplomas required to take part to a training course, to shorten the training course or to acquire a title, certificate or diploma in full or in part. All professional and non-professional activities may be accredited, provided that you can prove you have spent at least 3 years (or 5,000 hours) learning a skill directly related to the certificate or diploma requested.
Secondary technical education certificates and diplomas (certificate of professional anility, professional aptitude diploma, technical diploma and secondary school technical diploma) and the master craftsman’s certificate can be subject to an accreditation of prior and experiential learning. Thanks to the VAE, you can also access training courses resulting in a BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur – advanced technician’s certificate) or first-, second, and- third levels courses at the University of Luxembourg, even if you do not have a secondary school or university diploma. You will find more information and application forms (only in French) on guichet.lu.
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Immigration has always played a decisive role in the Grand Duchy’s economic development and and this trend is not going to stop. In 1961, the number of inhabitants in Luxembourg amounted to 314,900 people with a proportion of 13.2% of foreigners.
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